RETRO REVIEW: I was reminded recently that besides Mario Bros, Metroid on NES is one of the earliest games I have memories of owning and playing. It was nearly impossible trying to navigate that 2D, 8-bit, black-background labyrinth as a seven-year-old. As a grown-ass adult it's gotten marginally easier to navigate, and there were plenty of high notes, but there were also a number of frustrating moments during my time with Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.
Progression & Exploration - Obviously, there is a reason Metroidvania-style games have inspired developers to this day. There is a certain magic about walking past the same locked yellow door twenty times, knowing some kind of powerful upgrade or treasure lies behind it, then finally gaining access to it and watching the map unfold. The upgrades given in MP2 specifically are fun to use and lead to some unique and surprisingly fun boss battles (Power Bomb Guardian and Quadraxian in particular). Mystery - The Metroid series has one special thing going for it that other Nintendo series' do not: its intergalactic setting. Between taking constant damage in the dark world and frequently seeming to run low on ammo, I always felt a genuine sense of danger. You'll notice pretty early on that the game WILL give you what you need when you need it, but I still never felt completely safe on the planet of Aether. I never knew what was around the corner and looked forward to the new types of enemies and scanning them to find out more details.
Navigation - Yes I also count this as a con. You will be be back-tracking an annoying amount.
Controls - Never take dual-thumbsticks for granted. For every gratifying boss battle there was one reduced to painfully mashing on the tiny B button to barely dash to the side while locked on to a quick-moving beast. ............
Patience is necessary in Metroid. Remember that this is a time before waypoints and environmental pulses to direct you. Pay attention to your surroundings, utilize different weapons and abilities available to you, and you will be rewarded.
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